How brain reacts to Addiction of social media

Why Social media is very addictive

Today social media has become a common problem in our sociaty. More than half of the worlds mobile user population use social media. The addiction or overuse of social media also known as problematic social media use. Although majority of people comes in non problematic social media use only few percentage of the population use social media in a problematic way or get addicted to it.

research suggests that it affects women’s and girls more than men and boys. Such problems can be seen when an individual engages in social media at the cost of its responsibilities and other interests without thinking that his life is getting worse.

Social media addiction

Why social media is addictive

There are multiple reasons why social media is just like addiction to alcohol.

Some of the reasons as follows.

1. For some individuals social media can become the most important thing to engage in , this is because of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which describe the basic needs of human being and that basic need is fulfilled by social media.

2. Scrolling through social media gives repeated cycle of uncertainty , anticipation and feedback the same feeling that we get in gambling.

3. Griffiths discovered in 2014 that social media may fulfill basic evolutionary needs. After mass urbanization the basic psychological need of secure and predictable community life remains unchanged that evolved over millions of year , leading to find some community to cope with new individuals and that is fulfilled by social media

4. In 2018, Harvard University neurobiology research technician Trevor Haynes discovered that social media may stimulate reward pathways in the brain that makes it very addictive.

5. A 2007 article noted a cultural norm in adolecent children’s of being always connected to social media remarking that young people like to stay “up to date” that creates a “fear of missing out” .

6. other motivation includes information seeking and identity formation which is fulfilled by social media.

7. Another reason for social media addictiob is “fear of missing out”(FOMO).

How it affects the brain.

Social media addiction

Social media is addictive because of its effects on Brain it affects the people both psychologically and physically. The social media users feel the same feeling as we get while taking some addictive substance. Whrn Someone feels rewarding the brain triggers to release dopamine which is a chemical in the brain that uplifts our mood and gives us instant pleasure.

When a social media user gets a notification or like then there is a rush of the dopamine in the brain which makes him pleasurable. Social media provides an endless amount of reward by getting likes and engagement from other peoples through very less the brain rewires itself making us feel to use social media again and again

Another reason for social media addiction is that when we talk about ourself the reward centres in the brain become more active. And moreover social media is all about talking about oneself and showing off their achievements and accomplishments to others. When an individual post his profile photo and he gets instant feedback, this stimulates the part of brain which release the dopamine which rewards the social media behaviour and makes it a addiction for your mind.

Social media becomes problematic when an individual things it as a mode of releasing stress and avoiding real life conflicts. Because of this reason the individual prefer to surf on social media at the cost of there important work which directly affects their relationship, health and their career. They even ignore their real life friends , school, college and family. For these types of people social media acts as a reward centre and they engage on it more and more.

Symptoms of social media addiction

There are many ways to find out addiction of social media in an individual. According to Andreassen and colleagues there are four ways to find out addiction of social media.

1. Mood Swings: an individual use social media to swing his mood and avoid real life conflicts. He uses social media to regulate his mood when he is tensed.
2. Conflicts in real life: when social media is used heavily then it can cause conflicts in the relationships and family.
3. Withdrawal: when an individual is not given to you social media then their sleeping and eating habits can change and the signs of depression and anxiety can be seen.
4. Tolerance: a person increases time spent on social media to experience the feeling he experienced last time while surfing through it.
5. Relevence: social media dominates the person’s thoughts at the cost of other real life activities that need to be done
According to Andreassen’s factors, Griffiths further explained that individual is addicted to social media if he fulfills all six given criteria.

1. Salience: social media become the most important part of individuals life

2. Mood booster: if an individual uses social media to skip the bad feelings from the real world because using social media makes them feel “high” and “buzzed”.

3. Tolerance: a person increases time spent on social media to experience the feeling he experienced last time while surfing through it.

4. Withdrawal: a person feels unpleasant or unhappy when he has no access to social media.

5. Conflicts in real life: when social media is used heavily then it can cause conflicts in the relationships and family. The individual loses desire to participate in other activities .

6. Relapse: the tendency for previously affected peoples to revert to previous patterns of excessive social media use.

Social media on mental health

Social media addiction

Research has shown that social media can affect our self confidence self esteem in a negative. Although it has many positive sides but using it too frequently makes people unhappy. this is because of comparison between the materialistic thing and a Lifestyle of the other people that this site has in abundance.

People here start comparing oneself with the other peoples in look wise, lifestyle and materialistic things which makes their self esteem down and that directly affects their real life. Over time they become less engaging in the outside world. Whenever they see a person better than him in look wise or any other thing then they start feeling jealous which creates a bad impression in your mind.

Social media site show you advertisements and post based on your interest. And while scrolling through it you see a people who is has a great job, good life, goog lifepartner, beautiful house and a good environment that makes you feel depressed and jealous. Some people think of suicide because they don’t have this type of perfect life.

Recent studies has shown that peoples on social media finds others happy and prosperous than him. They only see the unrealistic and edited people on the social media without understanding that this is just a small part of their life which they are showing off. Excessive social media use can not only causes and unhappiness but it can lead to several major mental problems such as anxiety and depression. People continuously compare Oneself with others which create self consciousness and lower self esteem a day start feeling to become a perfectionist which further the lead to anxiety disorders.

Another reason for social media anxiety is is “fear of missing out”(FOMO). It is the fear of not being included in a social event. Understand with example, if a person was not able to attend a party due to his work or may not been invited then he may see the pictures of the party where he was not able to join. Then he may get depressed because he will think that no one is missing him in the party and all enjoying without thinking about him even his best friend has forgotten him , as a result he will feel lonely and his self esteem may also go down.


Although there is no established treatment exist. Many people use social media with no problem but those who are addicted to it are need to be treated. Many people have overcome the addiction of the social media so you can also do that.

For the treatment of social media addiction you can reduce the screen time from all social networking sites and try to engage yourself in the outside world which will help you to get involved in the present moment. And if the case is too serve then you may take a professional help.

Response of government

On July 30, 2019, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley
Introduced social media addiction reduction Technology( SMART) act that helps people to exploit human psychology or brain psychology. It specially provides the feature of infinite scrolling on social media.


At last there is a fact that individuals that visited any social media site at least 58 times per week were 3 times more feels isolated and depressed compare to those whom you social media less than 9 times per week.

This article contains information about social media addiction which you should read. And if you have already read this article than thanks for reading. May you have enjoyed reading and comment the best part of this article thank you.

Kundan is an experienced content writer on this blog. He used to share his Digital experience on this blog. He is also editor of this blog. Kundan is a digital marketer and he has a lot of experience in this field.

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